The Clay High School Athletic Department and the Clay High Alumni & Friends Association inducted new members at the annual Hall of Fame Game against Waite High School Sept. 13 at Clay Memorial Stadium.
The two new inductees into the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame include Doug Ensign and Jim Routson, both members of the class of 1957.
Douglas L. Ensign, honored as graduate and coach, was a prominent member of the championship basketball and baseball teams, the marching band and bowling team at Clay.
In 1958, on a volunteer basis, he started the first Clay High School girls’ fastpitch softball team, which went 9-6 for the season. Every year he was involved at Clay, the team had a winning record.
Coaching the girls in the Oregon/Toledo summer leagues, he took them to their first state tournament in 1983. He stayed in the program for 10 years as an assistant to Jeff Lee, who was the first coach after Clay declared it as a varsity sport.
His two daughters were involved in the Clay athletic program. His daughter, Kris, was honored all-league in all sports and in 1997, she became head coach of the softball program at Cardinal Stritch High School. She asked her dad to help, he agreed and they were league champions for the next three years.
Knowing the importance of athletics in his life, while coaching at the Oregon Recreation Center, Clay Elementary and Clay Senior High School, Doug worked diligently toward developing a cooperative relationship between the Oregon Recreation program and the Clay athletic program. He was director of the Clay Boosters for 10 years and in 1995, was awarded the Clay High Athletics Super Boosters award.
James L. Routson, graduate, teacher and coach. After graduating from Clay Senior High School in 1957, Routson attended Bowling Green State University on a basketball scholarship. Upon graduating in 1961, he accepted a position teaching math at his alma mater and in 1964, he became the Clay High School varsity basketball coach.
He left teaching in 1967 to attend graduate school at the University of South Carolina. In 1968, after earning a Master’s Degree in mathematics, he returned to teach math at Clay. A dedicated educator, he taught advance math, tutored students and introduced the first computer programming class. At that time, he also became reserve baseball coach and advisor to the Student Council and the Chess Club.
In 1971, Routson and fellow teacher Duke Ziebold started the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His career continued as the Clay girls varsity basketball coach from 1973-1984. He retired from Clay in 1994 and worked until 1996 at Vallet Paint Company.
He also taught math at The University of Toledo and ad Davis College from 1996-2001. He returned to work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Clay from 2001-2011.